I was in Lake Tahoe to see Smokin’ Aces a month or so ago, director Joe Carnahan dropped a sweet scoop in my lap – he’s going to direct White Jazz, adapted from the James Ellroy book by Carnahan and his brother Matthew. Carnahan was psyched about it, and he wanted to tell me who he had lined up to star – he wanted to tell me so badly I could feel it – but he had to hold his tongue.

He doesn’t need to keep quiet any more. The official word is out and George Clooney is going to be starring in White Jazz as Dave Klein, LAPD vice officer. Klein’s a USC law school grad who’s also comfortable doling out some hurt. Smart, violent and very dirty, Klein finds himself in the targets of the feds as other corrupt cops look to scapegoat him.  This is an incredible role for Clooney. The book is written in Klein’s own hyper-hepcat prose, so look for the actor to be delivering some glorious speeches fast and furious.

I was pretty excited about this film before – now I’m totally fucking ecstatic. Too bad it doesn’t start even FILMING until 2008.

Clooney also announced that he’s going to be directing The Belmont Boys, a heist film from the writers of Rounders. The movie is about seven guys who meet at a racetrack and almost pull off the ultimate caper – they reteam 30 years later to finally get it done. It sounds a little bit too much in the Ocean’s 11 vein, but we’ll see how it shakes out. Also in 2008.

I’m talking to Clooney this weekend for The Good German – I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about White Jazz and one of my favorite Hollywood madmen, Joe Carnahan.